Desperate House Democrats plead for donations

Desperate House Democrats plead for donations

Illustrations in a fundraising email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

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By Len Lazarick

Do desperate campaign fundraising appeals work?

The folks at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee apparently think so, and have been doing it for years, according to published accounts.

In just the past week, as the Sept. 30 report filing deadline approached, I got over 40 emails from the DCCC with subject lines that included “We’re BEGGING,” “We’re losing,” “Trump WINS,” “TRUMP.WINS.EVERYTHING” and “throw in the towel.”

One of my favorites came Wednesday from “Joe Biden,” with whom I’m obviously on a first name basis. “kiss all hope goodbye” was the subject line from Joe:

“Get Barack’s email?
See Michelle’s?
Well I’m joining them — because you’ve got a massive choice to make.
We can do nothing, let Donald Trump get away with saying whatever he wants, and wake up on Election Day with him and Paul Ryan taking us backwards.
Or we can fight back, help elect Hillary Clinton, and wake up on Election Day with her and Nancy Pelosi leading us forward.
Step up before the most important deadline of this election — I’m pleading with you!
We’ve got just 48 hours to get 3O,OOO grassroots gifts.
Will you pitch in $1?

I’ve watched Barack work his heart out these past 8 years.
And if Trump wins with a Republican Majority in Congress, you can kiss all the progress we’ve made as a country goodbye.
I’m not having that, Len.
We’re up against the biggest deadline in this election.
Let’s make a stand and help Hillary win on Election Day”

Emails from Barack and Michelle too

I did indeed get the emails from Barack and Michelle — the president and first lady contacted me twice. By Friday afternoon, Uncle Joe was clearly unhappy with my failure to respond. The subject line on Biden’s email was “painful defeat.”

Barack asked again.

Michelle asked again.

Now I’m asking again.

I’ll be blunt: with 10 hours left, things aren’t looking good.
If the Republicans outraise us tonight, it might just cost us this election.
Please, help me close that gap before midnight — I need 8,936 more folks on board.
The clock is ticking, Len. 10 hours until the most important deadline of the election.
Will you chip in $1?

Sorry, Joe, but like many political reporters and editors, I only sign up for these emails to keep in touch with what’s going on.

Dejected and devastated

The DCCC was dejected in this email Saturday morning titled “bad time.please read”

Usually the morning after a big deadline, we tell you how excited we were that we hit our goal.
This is not one of those emails.
We fell short last night for the first time in this election. By a whopping $5OO,OOO.
That means we can’t help open field offices in must-win districts.
That means we can’t help register the number of voters it takes to win.
That means we can’t respond to deceptive Republican attacks.
Len, if we can’t fix this today, our chance to win this election will be doomed.

By Saturday afternoon they were still laying on the guilt trip, with pictures of Michelle and Barack — since we all seem to be a first-name basis.

We were devastated we fell short last night, but this is even more alarming.
As of 2 PM, right-wing Super PAC attacks have surpassed the $43O MILLION mark.
The Obamas both asked for your help — because we’re getting BURIED out there in the final 5 weeks.
We’d hate to see all the work we put into this election get washed away by a flood of last-minute attacks.
We really need every grassroots supporter to dig deep right now.
Remember: The Quadruple Match is extended for a single day.
Can you help?

Urgent call from the president

By 6:37 p.m., DCCC enlisted the president again. “I need you to stand with me one last time,” said the photo of Obama. “The clock is ticking.”

“We’ve never seen the President give such an urgent call to action,” said the DCCC. Really? Have you checked your previous emails?

The pleas, the desperation, and the guilt trip finally seemed to have worked.

This. Is. I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E!!!![Note the utter sincerity indicated by the four exclamation points. Do interns write this stuff?]
As of 8 PM, we’re within striking distance of not only hitting our goal — but hitting 2,OOO,OOO grassroots gifts for the year.
Trump will go bonkers if we get there! We need just 1 more gift from 21045.
Will you be the one to put us over the top?!


The sticker from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Sorry, guys, but clearly some people came through — or at least the DCCC claimed they did Sunday morning.

OK, we get it — we leaned on grassroots supporters A LOT last month.
Honestly, we were worried we would lose.
But the support we saw from our grassroots Democrats was INCREDIBLE!!!
Thanks to you, we know we have what it takes to defeat Trump in November.
We owe you a huge thank you — so we’re giving away everyone’s favorite STOP BIGOTRY sticker today for free!

Trump is never losing

I do get fundraising appeals from Donald J. Trump too, but they only come once a day at most. They are never desperate for money, but eager to match your contribution out of his own pocket.


From a Trump email

For a candidate who has been winning by breaking all the political rules, they sound much more like traditional fundraising appeals, with the usual “Crooked Hillary” and fighting to “Make America Great Again” thrown in. This week contributors could win a chance to attend next Sunday’s debate.

And one thing you can count on with a Donald J. Trump email. He is never, ever losing. That is for LOSERS, like the DCCC. Believe me.   

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

1 Comment

  1. Ann-Marie Remillard

    Those e-mails constantly pleading to “donate” might be necessary evils, but for me they are a pain in the neck. They are overwhelming my computer, taking up too much of my time, and making me feel guilty that I am not as wealthy as the candidates.

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